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SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR

Sharpness 
 9.8
Aberrations 
 9.3
Bokeh 
 9.6
Autofocus 
 7.7
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
94 361,944 Sun September 8, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $571.89 9.62
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
supersize
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
supersize

Description:
A weather-sealed version of the DFA 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. Maximum magnification is 1:1. The image circle of the lens covers the full 35mm film format as did its predecessor. Cosmetics have changed and build quality has been improved - the lens now has an aluminum barrel. This new lens does not have an aperture ring so it is not suitable for use on the older film cameras which do not allow for setting the aperture from the camera body, such as the LX, MX, ME, ME Super, K1000 etc.

The aperture has rounded blades which should result in a pleasing and smooth rendering of out-of-focus areas (aka bokeh).

Like all weather-sealed lenses, the D FA 100mm Macro has a rubber seal around the lens mount, which can be seen in the photo (colored red). The front element is SP (Super Protect) coated.

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades (rounded)
Optics
9 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
1x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 16 ° / 14 °
Full frame: 24 ° / 20 °
Hood
PH-RBE 49mm
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
O-LC49
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Diam x Length
65 x 80.5 mm (2.6 x 3.2 in.)
Weight
340 g (12 oz.)
w/ Hood: +38g
Production Years
2009 to present (in production)
Pricing
$546 USD current price
$376 USD at launch
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 1:2.8 100mm WR
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame Support
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 94
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 24

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 8, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp and contrasty, WR, build quality
Cons: Bit noisy... but for macro I prefer MF anyway
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K1ii and K-01   

Beautiful lens, feels good (aluminum), clever hood, top notch IQ. Only wide open a little bit fringing around highlights. Rounded blades for nice bokeh.

AF can be hunting, so I prefer MF. Compared tot MF macro lenses this one has a bit short focus throw.

I got it as a free bonus with my K1 + 28-105. I am very happy with it. Ideal for DSLR-scanning too.

See also: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/392245-my-...dern-dfas.html

and for scanning: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/107-film-processing-scanning-darkroom/38...aw-camera.html

   
amateur dirt farmer / mod

Registered: December, 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Posts: 16,045
Lens Review Date: August 3, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $375.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: clarity, bokeh, color rendition, sharpness
Cons: are there, really, any negatives here?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

what a lens...

I traded my copy of the FA43 Limited for this lens - it was 'like new', in box with all papers, OEM caps and hood.... and I honestly feel that I got the better part of the deal...

the D FA 100mm f2.8 Macro WR is everything you would expect from a modern, super-corrected macro lens...

it has all the boxes ticked, such as quick-shift, weather-resistant, beautifully built, full 1:1 macro - there are very few items missing from this lens' list of specs and none of the missing bits are detrimental to it...

could it have a DC or SDM motor? yes, at the cost of its svelte exterior...

could it have an aperture ring? yes, but none of the current/modern lenses do and going forward, the idea of an aperture ring is becoming more and more rare...

could it have a focus-limiter? yes, but again, at the cost of that slick exterior barrel...

I would have been happy with all the optics packaged in a plastic, manual focus barrel, at anything nearly twice its size - it's that good...

I shot everywhere this month; the library, the zoo, downtown, in the fields - and not once did this lens let me down... you point it, it delivers...

beautiful bokeh, crisp colors, amazing details - anything you ask of it, it's good at...

downsides? yeah, it's a little long occasionally, causing me to re-compose.. and, yeah, because it's a macro lens, the focus travel is long...but that is the price you pay for that macro capability...

oh, and the shots?

paint by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

at the library by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

green boa by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

dragonfly by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

hay bales by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

shop pup by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

and the rest of the album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperberryfarm/albums/72157709298772337/page1


no mystery about this lens - if you need a macro lens in the 70 - 100mm range, there's no reason to not put one of these in your bag....
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: July 25, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $265.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, compact, color rendition
Cons: long throw and hunting focus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3 / Z-1p   

Sample images from Fujifilm Color 200 film with Z-1p

   
New Member

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 17
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $449.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, Super Build Quality, Joy to Use
Cons: None really
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5 IIs and K-3   

My wife "borrowed" the lens from me along with my backup K-5 IIs body.
She loves it and never gave it back.
If you want to see what it can do look at her instagram account " malgorzataquinn "

She says there: " Pentax 100mm Macro WR on Pentax K-5 IIs, most of the time "
   
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2018
Location: Telemark
Posts: 36

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 7, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $580.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Sharpness, bokeh, handling, versatility
Cons: Autofocus obviously
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

This is a work of art. Just like the 43 mm limited, this stands out from the bunch of Pentax lenses I own.

The sharpness is extraordinary, the bokeh with the aperture blades are amazing. The small size is great too. It's labelled a macro lens which it is with 1:1 magnicifation and near focusing, but I use it for a lot of other stuff too because of the sharpness and IQ.

The autofocus, espcially with macro is terrible, it's like a Tamron 70-300 priced at $150 quality.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2016
Location: St George, Utah
Posts: 24

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 4, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, fast, small
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k1 ii   

Great , not just for macros
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2018
Posts: 220

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 27, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Sold Build, WR, Lightweight
Cons: Autofocus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1II   

Extremely well built lens that is compact to carry and adds very little weight to your kit/carry. WR is a wonderful addition for peace of mind. Images are incredibly sharp and the color output is wonderful.

The only drawback is the Autofocus. The lens is very noisy to focus and has a tendency to hunt. Not necessarily an issue for Macro or Portraiture, but definitely something to keep in mind. A focus limiter would be a welcome addition in a 'next iteration'.

   
Community Manager

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Posts: 23,523

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 12, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact, clever design, lightweight, weather sealed, smooth bokeh
Cons: no focus limiter, autofocus hunting
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-1 II   

This amazing lens is underrated, despite how well rated it already is.
Sharpest tool in the shed. Amazing image quality.

I compare it to the FA 100/2.8 macro, and the D-FA version is better in every way. I thought the FA would be enough, and to me it was, but I took the plunge for the D-FA and I am impressed by its excellent colour rendition and sharpness even above that of the already excellent FA version.

The 49mm thread of the D-FA is in stark difference to the 58mm thread of the FA, along with its overall shorter and thinner build to the FA. Nevertheless, the build quality is everything you could imagine a top quality lens should be, just like the classic FA Limited lenses (it really should be classified as a D-FA Limited lens).

The clever design is in the way the hood attaches to the main body, yet the extending inner barrel extends within the lens without taking the lens hood with it, giving the impression that with the lens hood on, the lens acts as an internal focusing one. In contrast, the FA does not have a lens hood. Also being weather sealed, you have a versatile macro that is easy on the camera bag and shoulders when carrying it around.

The proof is in the images it produces, which words cannot express. It shines throughout the aperture range, and its bokeh is second to none. The images render magnified macro subject matter in exquisite detail, and as long as you handle the focusing right, it reliably reproduces sharp images with great micro-contrast.

This is by far the lens that impresses me the most, and I would overlook its limitations every time just to have my breath taken away by its spectacular results.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2018
Posts: 11
Lens Review Date: January 26, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, build quality
Cons: Autofocus
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3ii   

Sharp and feels and handles as though very well built. Plays nicely with the 1.4x TC as in the photo, which brings more magnification at same close focus distance.


Illustrative photo is wide open and shows that it's acceptably sharp even there, and also the excellent soft and smooth bokeh.


The only real downside is the autofocus which other reviewers have commented on. It does get there in the end, but meanwhile is very noisy and has a tendency every so often to hunt right from one end of the focus range to the other. It's difficult to credit how noisy this is without trying it yourself! My 16-85 HD, 8-16 Sigma, and 70-200 f2.8 D-FA* (all of which have internal motors) and 300 F* and old kit 18-55 (which are screw driven) all (all of them!) lock in more quickly and quietly than this lens. While the other screws just settle with the usual quick fidget, this one take its time good and proper. Recommended for its excellent IQ, but be prepared!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Posts: 243

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 11, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $355.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely solid build, very sharp!
Cons: Focal length makes it a bit less handy for urban landscapes.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-70, K-1   

Probably the sharpest lens in my kit and with a f/2.8 it's plenty fast too. Extremely solid, well built, like a tank. Superb macro with a little more working distance than some of the shorter macros and it does a very good job with landscapes and portraits too.

Only possible draw back (on APS-C) is in an urban environment, shooting landscape, street photography and architecture, etc. It's just too long a lens to be ideal in this sort of relative close quarters, forcing me to stand at least a block away to get the shot I want. But that's not what this lens is for anyway!

ADDENDUM (9/03/2019): I recently had the opportunity to shoot three different music acts in the same "day" (overcast and dark, as the sun was setting), without flash. I took the K-1 and the 100mm WR. This is my third copy of this lens, all purchased used, and all have been consistently excellent. I have a couple of other fast primes I could have used but the 100mm let me keep a little more distance and shooting in manual mode, close to wide open, and in RAW, allowed me to push exposure in post quite easily. This lens is a treat on the full frame it was designed for. Scroll down for a few extra shots:



This stick is about the size of your little finger. See the spider?!? When I took this photo, I hadn't even noticed it!




This one I had to stand approx. a city block away to get the entirety of the larger boat in the frame... sharp, though!


K-1 in poorly lit conditions, manual mode, close to wide open, RAW, exposure corrected in post:





   
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2018
Posts: 41

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 20, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: macro ability
Cons: none
New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-70   

I watched this youtube review.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wrH-9mvudM

I was concerned that the first critique was the lens rattled when the reviewer shook it. I however bought it form B&H because of its macro capabilities, and it was on sale.

When I received it, I gave it the shake test and it does not rattle at all, so I think Pentax has seen the review and fixed it, if the fix was not already in the works.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2018
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 6,501
Lens Review Date: August 28, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $406.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Compact, sharp
Cons: Autofocus
New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3ii   

I can't really rate the lens because 1) I don't think I have the knowledge to accurately rate most characteristics 2) I'd need to use it a bit more.

For now, here are some initial images





   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2016
Location: Gislev
Posts: 86
Lens Review Date: August 22, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $540.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, Build Quality, Ergonomics, Weight and Size
Cons: None

A great macro lens and a wonderful medium telephoto lens on the K-3 II.

The resolution is magical, and the sharpness is perfect.
There are no aberrations, bokeh is lovely, and the build quality of this lens is on the highest level.

Autofocus is fast - but a focus range limiter would have been nice to have: At times it hunts excessively for focus, when you use spot autofocus because the system goes to closest focus before returning to the appropriate focus range. A way to minimize this problem would be to use 'area autofocus' with all focus points engaged, I guess.

Highly recommended!
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 537

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 6, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $610.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, 49mm filter thread, WR
Cons: No focus limiter
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-30, KP   

This lens is very sharp and has a decent bokeh. First I bought it for portraits and it worked well, but I like more the wider FoV of the DA*55, FA43. The lens is very well built and WR. Perfect for insect macros, but I feel a wider macro would be better for flowers. If the lens starts to hunt for focus it takes a long time, it goes to minimum and then back. In general I release the AF button and use quick shift to aproximetly set the focus. It's faster. A focus limiter would help, even one implemented in the firmware. This is the most well corrected pentax prime I have. No CA or PF, no distorsion, no flare.
Altough on APS-C I prefer the FA77 in general because the wider FoV.

Here are some images:
IMG160619_0067 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160709_0266 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG0012_150416 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160416_0017 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG180505_0075 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG171008_0003 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170611_0029 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG0023_150416 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170313_0007 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG161031_0022 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160820_0027 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG161016_0029 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 4,145
Lens Review Date: March 20, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $420.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Super sharp, f/2.8, sleek design, quick-shift, weather-resistant
Cons: Screw-mount noise, focus hunts sometimes, some aberrations wide open
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2   

This lens is really great - it's produced some of my best shots!

Totally usable as a portrait lens, and a fast mid-range telephoto.

Would have been nice to have silent focusing, but the flowers and insects don't mind that too much!

Really like the WR lineup from Pentax!
Add Review of SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR



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